VIGAN CITY – “The RA 7171 funds are for the people and we need to hear from them what other developments are needed in their barangay,” said Ilocos Sur Vice Governor Jeremias “Jerry” Singson during a Kapihan press conference at his office at the provincial capitol here, May 11.
“I remember that when the Sin Tax Law was imposed, all we thought was that our tobacco industry would dwindle. But former Governor Chavit (Singson) advised us to follow the law because that would generate more funds for RA 7171 and true to his words, we are now receiving billions of RA 7171 funds for the development of our province,” he said.
Cabugao town just received the biggest share of a little bit less than P1 billion followed by Sta. Cruz, Narvacan and San Juan.
“Even the upland municipalities are greatly benefited. Look at San Emilio. Including its IRA, it was receiving only around P40 million at first; then it became P150 million and now its share is around P500 million,” he said.
He also expressed his elation of the very positive response of the different regional delegates who competed in the 2018 Palarong Pambansa hosted by the province of Ilocos Sur.
“Everyone said it’s the best Palarong Pambansa ever – best accommodation by our billeting schools, best playing venues, best main venue in our world-class Quirino Stadium and the friendliest, most hospitable host people ever,” he said.
He said the provincial government prepared well for the Palaro under the leadership of Governor Ryan Luis Singson in cooperation with the Department of Education, all line agencies and the provincial board which he said is composed of “working” Sangguniang Panlalawigan members.
“This is a very different provincial board. It has lots of committee hearings, resolutions and innovations. That’s why at the end of the year, we honor the best among them during our Legislative Week,” he said.
He lamented, however the dismal showing of Ilocos Sur athletes in the 2018 Palaro.
“That’s why right after the Palaro, we have come out with a scheme, in cooperation with the DepEd, to discover talented athletes in the grassroots level and provide them with regular training under good trainers. As for the Quirino Stadium, we are offering it as a training ground for Region I athletes,” he said.
Now that the barangay and SK elections are over, he advised all losers to still pursue their platforms and advocacies by cooperating with the winning candidates and with the local government.
He also said he is just a government employee working for the betterment of the people.
“And if you see we are doing the wrong thing, tell us and we will listen. After all, you elected us to office and it’s our duty to serve you well,” he said. (Edward B. Antonio)